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The Argument for Wearing Sunglasses Daily

By Chris Brown

Sunglasses are essential elements of famous signature looks, from the Terminator to the Blues Brothers. There's a good argument, though, that sunglasses should be a staple of everyone's outdoor attire. Sunglasses are not just fashion statements; they are protective equipment for the eyes. Sunglass lenses block harmful UV radiation from the sun. Just as a sunburn is bad for the skin, long periods of UV exposure are bad for your delicate instruments of sight. Aside from making you look cool and mysterious, donning shades can save your eyes from a number of scary diseases and side effects that come from outdoor exposure.

  • Glaucoma and cataracts - Cataracts, cloudiness over the eyes' lenses, and glaucoma, a disease of the optic nerve, both are worsened by direct sunlight exposure and made more likely to develop in later years.  
  • Skin cancer - We all know to lather up with sunscreen before hitting the beach, but it is not well known that our eyelids are susceptible to skin cancer. Sunglasses protect eyelids by reducing their exposure to the UV light that causes cancer clusters.
  • Surfer's eye (pterygium) - Nicknamed surfer's eye because of the prevalence of getting it from extended periods of looking over sunlit water, pterygium is a painful growth on the eyeball caused by UV exposure.
  • Macular degeneration - This scary, incurable disease can degenerate a sufferer's eyesight into eventual blindness. While its cause isn't entirely known, macular degeneration is worsened by UV exposure.
  • Migraines - Direct sunlight can trigger migraines and headaches or worsen the severity of them. Sunglasses cause less-direct sunlight exposure while outdoors.  
  • Degeneration of corrected vision - Immediately after corrective vision surgery, sunglasses are highly important to allow healing with minimum UV exposure. However, continuing to wear sunglasses prevents worsening vision or other problems that can degenerate expensive corrections.
  • Physical injury and dust - Sunglasses additionally add a layer of physical protection for the eyes. It can stop objects from making contact and trauma to the eyeball, such as a finger or a grain of sand.

Sunglasses keep one of our most important senses, sight, strong. While always recommended, even on cloudy days, UV eye protection is even more vital when in snowy environments or overlooking bodies of water, as glare can burn the corneas and increase the potential for all conditions (snow specifically reflects up to 80 percent of the sun's rays). An investment in a pair of UVA and UVB blocking sunglasses is an investment in your future eyesight.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy, Utah.

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